I do like a Kingfisher, Belted or otherwise. With their squat bodies, chunky heads and large bills, it's a wonder they don't topple head-first into the water. In our coastal area, we get the Belted Kingfisher but I believe in the States and Mexico, my southern neighbours, the Ringed Kingfisher and the Green Kingfisher can also be seen. Now mind you, I do get to enjoy the sparkling iridescence of the Common Kingfisher when I visit my folks in Britain. My Princeton Field Guide's Birds of Europe describes the Common Kingfisher thus:
Beautifully bright colours; crown and wings greenish-blue (look more greenish from some angles depending on how light falls), back and tail bright blue (shifting from azure to cobalt!) underparts and cheek patch warm orangey brownish-red, throat and a patch on neck-side snow-white.
I love the exclamation point. Even the authors can't curb their enthusiasm. In fact, the book is much like that... the usual short ID comments but interspersed with enthusiastic adjectives and notes obviously based on personal observation.
But I digress from my Belted Kingfisher, who is not so showy, but still a lovely slate grey and white. The female sports a rusty halter-top and the juveniles show some rust as well.
So what brought me to this topic? Oh yes, I was watching him along the creek at MapleWood Flats and while he sat on his branch, scanning the clear water below, he was talking to himself, almost under his breath.
Rattle, rattle, pause, rattle, pause, pause...
and up go his crest feathers as he thinks he spies a fish. Nope, he settles and goes back to his muttering rattle.